Tom Parker, a member of the popular U.K. boy band The Wanted, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. In an interview with OK! magazine, the 32-year-old opened up about being diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma.
Parker said he found out about his tumor six weeks ago, and that he is “still in shock.”
“I knew something wasn’t right, but I never expected it to be this,” he told the magazine. The singer suffered a seizure in July and was put on a waiting list for an MRI, according to BBC News. He was later rushed to the hospital after suffering another seizure, and after three days of tests he was diagnosed with the brain tumor.
Because of coronavirus restrictions, Parker’s wife, actress Kelsey Hardwick, was not allowed to be with him in the hospital during his tests. Hardwick is pregnant with the couple’s second child. They are already parents to 16-month-old Aurelia.
“There’s no easy way to say this but I’ve sadly been diagnosed with a Brain Tumour and I’m already undergoing treatment,” Parker disclosed in an Instagram post. “We are all absolutely devastated but we are gonna fight this all the way. We don’t want your sadness, we just want love and positivity and together we will raise awareness of this terrible disease and look for all available treatment options.”
In the OK! magazine interview, Parker said he was determined to remain positive. “I’m going to be here,” he said. “I’m going to fight this.”
Glioblastoma is a deadly brain cancer and one of the most aggressive cancers in adults. It’s the same type of cancer Senator John McCain was diagnosed with in 2017, and later died from. At the time of McCain’s diagnosis, CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook explained the severity.
“The problem with glioblastoma is at the time that it is discovered, there are almost always microscopic cells that have spread elsewhere in the brain because it spreads along the nerve cells,” LaPook said on CBSN’s “Red & Blue.”
“Despite all the research that’s been going on, we haven’t made adequate progress,” he added.
Some of the symptoms of glioblastoma include headache, general malaise, and visual problems like double vision.
Parker told OK! magazine he has begun chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and that he’s “going to fight this all the way.”
“There are so many stories of people who were given a bad prognosis and are still here five, 10, even 15 years later,” he said.
His wife added that his bandmates from The Wanted have rallied around him. Jay McGuinness and Max George have visited the couple, Hardwick said.
“Siva [Kaneswaran] and Nathan [Sykes] obviously live a lot further away, but all four of the boys have been texting regularly and sending through different articles and possible treatments and therapies that they’re all reading about,” Hardwick said. “They’ve been amazing.”